It provides all the steps required to install Visual Studio Code or VSCode for Java development on Ubuntu and getting started with Java development using the Hello World project.

How To Install VSCode For Java On Ubuntu
How To Install VSCode For Java On Ubuntu
September 11, 2019

Visual Studio Code or VSCode is a cross-platform, lightweight editor and became popular in a very short span. It provides support for several programming languages. It also supports plugin development and there are several community-driven plugins available for it.

In this tutorial, we will discuss how to install and prepare Visual Studio Code or VSCode for Java development on the popular Linux distribution i.e. Ubuntu. It provides several features for Java development including IntelliSense, Syntax Highlighting, Bracket Matching, Snippets, Linting, etc. This tutorial provides all the steps required to install VSCode on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, though the steps should be similar for other Linux systems.

Notes: It assumes that Java is already installed on the system. You may also be interested in How To Install OpenJDK 12 On Ubuntu, How To Install Java 11 On Ubuntu, and How To Install VSCode For Java On Windows. You can also follow How To Install IntelliJ IDEA for Java on Ubuntu to install IntelliJ IDEA on the popular Debian based Linux distribution - Ubuntu.

Step 1 - Download Visual Studio Code

We can download Visual Studio from the official download page. It provides options for Ubuntu as shown in Fig 1.

VSCode Download

Fig 1

Click on the .deb Download Button to start the download. You can also download the gz file to install it directly without using the deb package. This tutorial provides steps to install VSCode using the Debian package.

Step 2 - Install Visual Studio Code

In this step, we will install the Visual Studio Code downloaded by us in the previous step. Double click the installer to execute it. It will show the installer screen as shown in Fig 2.

VSCode Install

Fig 2

Click on the Install Button to start installing VSCode. It will show installation progress as shown in Fig 3.

VSCode Install Progress

Fig 3

After successful installation, it will show the final screen as shown in Fig 4.

VSCode Install Finish

Fig 4

Now close the screen to complete the installation. Click on the Show Applications icon at the bottom right corner of Ubuntu 18.04. It should show Visual Studio Code as shown in Fig 5.

VSCode Application

Fig 5

You may add it to your Favorite Apps or create a desktop shortcut icon based on your preferences. Launch VSCode to start coding in Java. It will show the welcome screen as shown in Fig 6.

VSCode Welcome

Fig 6

Step 3 - Marketplace

You can see all the available plugins on the Marketplace dedicated for Visual Studio Code. Type java in the search box and click on the Search Button. The results should be similar to one as shown in Fig 7.

Visual Studio Code - Java Extensions

Fig 7

We can also browse the available extensions within the IDE by clicking on View -> Extensions or press Ctrl + Shift + x. Enter java on the Search Box and hit Enter Key. It will show the same extensions list within the IDE as we saw on the Marketplace Page as shown in Fig 8.

VSCode Java Extensions

Fig 8

Step 4 - Install Extensions

We will install the most important extensions as part of this tutorial. Also, make sure that you are using the most recent version of Java. Your system should have at least Java 10 or OpenJDK 10 to use the new features available in Java.

Language Support for Java(TM) by Red Hat, Code Runner, and Debugger For Java are the most important extensions that every Java developer must install for Visual Studio Code. The other extensions can be installed based on the requirements. Install both the extensions as shown in Fig 12 and Fig 13.

Notes: We can also install the recommended Java Extension Pack including Language Support for Java(TM) by Red Hat, Debugger For Java, Maven For Java, Java Dependency Viewer, and Java Test Runner.

VSCode Java Extension

Fig 9

VSCode Java Debugger

Fig 10

Also, install the extension Code Runner to execute the program.

Code Runner

Fig - Code Runner

Step 5 - Getting Started with Java - Hello World

In this section, we will create our Hello World i.e. HelloJava project and write and execute the first program using Visual Studio Code.

Click on File -> Open Folder or press Cntrl + K and Cntrl + O to open the File Chooser to select the project folder. It will open the selected folder as highlighted in Fig 11.

VSCode Java Folder

Fig 11

Now click on the New File Icon as highlighted in Fig 12.

VSCode Java File

Fig 12

Enter the file name as Hello.java and hit the Enter Key. It will create the Java file as shown in Fig 13.

VSCode Java File View

Fig 13

Update the file and write the first program to print Hello Java as shown in Fig 14.

VSCode Java File Update

Fig 14

Now right-click the file and choose the option Run Code. It will compile the Java file, open the terminal within the editor, and execute the code as shown in Fig 15 and Fig 16.

VSCode Java Run

Fig 15

VSCode Java Output

Fig 16

This is how we can install Visual Studio Code for Java development. We have also written our first hello world program and executed it within the editor using the Code Runner extension.

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